Though many reports on the state of healthcare remain grim, there is hope on the horizon. A recent poll shows optimism rising among nurses and other healthcare professionals. The core reason? The pandemic has forced the underlying issues nurses have faced for years (e.g., staffing shortages, burnout) into the public eye.
Read what else nurses had to say about burnout in our complete State of the Profession report, available for free here.
Fortunately, many organizations around the nation are partnering with healthcare professionals to provide much-needed support and resources for nurses. Here are some meaningful initiatives dedicated to caring for the ones who care for us.
Trends in nursing education
While 2022 saw a small decline in nursing school enrollments, the dip comes at the end of a twenty-year peak. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), enrollment in entry-level BSN programs climbed from 77,958 to 256,578 between 2001 and 2021.
In addition, the AACN, philanthropic organizations, and several federal and state agencies are taking action to tackle the nursing faculty shortage via education. Activities include financial support, grants, and fellowship programs. Other activities include loan repayment for graduate students pursuing academic careers, tax incentives, and a centralized application service.
Financial support for practicing nurses
Nursing students are not the only healthcare professionals receiving financial assistance. Established in 1924, Nurses House is a nurse-managed, non-profit organization dedicated to helping registered nurses in need. They offer a national fund to provide short-term financial assistance to nurses in need as a result of illness, injury, or disability.
In the wake of the pandemic, this assistance is more vital than ever. With grueling shifts in challenging conditions, many nurses in our recent State of the Profession survey described the consequences of their increased workloads. “Due to short-staffing, I sustained injury that jeopardized my health,” said one RN in response to the survey.
Mental health initiatives
Financial health isn’t the only area offering needed assistance to nurses. Here are some programs designed to come alongside nurses struggling with the mental and emotional impact of the pandemic.*
- Therapy Aid Coalition: This organization offers pro-bono or low-fee online sessions with a therapist for frontline and essential workers.
- Give an Hour: The Hospital Heroes Program provides six hours of free and confidential mental health support to all hospital-based essential employees and their loved ones in NY, NJ, and CT.
- Nurse Suicide Prevention and Resilience: Dedicated to normalizing the conversation around mental health and suicide risk among nurses, this ANA initiative provides help and education for nurses and their loved ones.
Healthy Nurse Healthy Nation
Founded by the American Nurses Association, this free nurse wellness initiative focuses on improving health in six areas: mental health, physical activity, nutrition, rest, quality of life, and safety.
Included in the Healthy Nurse Healthy Nation initiative are health assessment surveys, community support, and additional resources for nurses.
*Listing here does not imply endorsement.